Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Snack time

I climbed aboard the bus outside of Min Yuan.  The bus rolled ahead a few feet and stopped at the red light.  And that's when I saw him; standing there on the sidewalk.  It was amazing and looking back on it now, it is very difficult for me to put it into the proper words to enable the depth of the humor to shine through.

He was a monk, standing there on the side of the road; waiting for a friend, perhaps.  In his hands he had a box of crackers.  The crackers were the cheap kind that local people would probably feed to their teething babies.  At least, that would probably be a good reason for buying them.  This monk had them in his hands.  He picked one of them up and proceeded to stuff it into his mouth.  Then, he repeated the action two, three, even four times before the first cracker had gone down his throat.  To put it another way, he was "going to town" on that box of crackers.  By the time the light had turned green he had eaten half of the box.  Crumbs were caked on his face.  He was in the "cracker zone", unaware of anything else around him.  It was him and that box and nothing else.  I was tempted to jump off of the bus to buy him a water.  I was sure that he was going to need it.

Not sure why this scene was so interesting to me.  More than interesting, it was bizarre.  I've heard many stories of monks pushing their physical limits in a number of different areas, including fasting from food.  Something in me figured that monks only ate once a day, and only because they had to.  Then, today, I have the cookie monster crunching up a storm on the side of the road.

I'm not judging him at all.  Heck, when you're hungry, you're hungry.  For some strange, arbitrary reason, this scene was completely hilarious to me.

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